Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has shelved plans to hold a football conference as part of dialogue with some concerned protesters who wanted Flames coach Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) fired and the association’s president Walter Nyamilandu to resign.
FAM promised to hold the conference this Saturday to resolve outstanding differences between stakeholders and provide solutions to the national team’s poor performance.
The conference, which would be the first of its kind, would bring together all stakeholders, including football officials, government, sponsors, the media and supporters.
In an interview yesterday, Nyamilandu did not provide the reason for the postponement of the conference, but insisted that it was still on the cards.
He said: “The indaba is still on the cards. Preparations are underway and we are consulting with all key stakeholders for a suitable date in November. Final details of the indaba will be announced before month end.”
However, a source at FAM said the meeting has been shifted because it has coincided with Fifa Congress which Nyamilandu is scheduled to attend in Rwanda on Saturday.
Nyamilandu was elected Fifa Council member last month, just four days after announcing about the conference during a news conference at the association’s Mpira House in Blantyre.
“It’s his first Fifa Council meeting as a member and you and I know he can’t miss it. The conference is also very important. He can’t afford to miss it as well. So, the best way was to reschedule it,” he said.
The source also said the change was to the advantage of the stakeholders since it would likely come after the Flames match against Comoros on November 12.
“It will be good to discuss the Flames performance after this game [against Comoros] since its result will also give direction on the progress of the team in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations [Afcon] qualification,” he said.
But leader of the concerned supporters, Kalowe Ssiark Ajasi, said they felt betrayed by FAM since they had not heard anything from the association since last month.
“We have no idea about what is happening. We will meet so that we can come up with a decision,” he said.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said: “At the end of the day, FAM must be seen to be keeping its promise to stakeholders by ensuring that this important conference takes place at all cost.”